Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Glass Castle

Just from the title of the book, The Glass Castle, you probably couldn't guess why it is titled so. This is the memoir of Jeannette Walls' which is so incredulous, sometimes you wonder how much of it is fact and how much of it is fiction. The thing about memoirs is that memories may get a little hazy due to the passage of time, or simply that, some things can look very different from different perspectives. 
(photo credit: The Turning Page

To many, Walls seems to have grown up in a highly dysfunctional family- an alcoholic father who is somewhat treated like an idol by Jeannette, a mother who only bothers about her lofty artistic dreams, two other sisters and a brother. The way the kids grew up was a little unimaginable- so unimaginable that it's actually surprising that the children are thriving today. Having to rummage through the dustbin during their breaks, having their mum steal the food when they already have that little, having over flowing trash in their yard because they couldn't afford garbage removal services, having their money saved up to go New York stolen by their father etc. 

And here's why it is titled Glass Castle. Jeannette's father always promised to build a glass castle for the children and he was a very powerful storyteller. Telling Jeannette and her brother that they had to dig a hole so that they could lay the foundation for the glass castle, only to have the hole later filled by trash, could be telling of why it is called a Glass Castle. Filling up dreams with lies and impracticality is probably what her Dad does best. 

A good read although being skeptical, I wonder how much of it is real because too many episodes happened when she really young. Despite this, overall I think it's a well-written book that will capture the heart of the reader. 


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